People waiting for hip replacement surgery on the NHS were removed from the official waiting list figures following staff shortages in Scotland, a local GP has claimed.
Patients based in Glasgow appear to have been dropped from the statistics despite the Scottish Executive promising to reduce waiting times.
The inaccurate waiting lists were exposed after a local GP started to investigate where his patients were not being treated with the six-month target for hip replacements.
He discovered that Glasgow patients had been classed as requiring highly specialised treatment and therefore were excluded from the standard waiting lists.
Dr Jim Finlayson explained: "Andy Kerr, the health minister, is always appearing saying it is wonderful, no-one is waiting more than six months and I have all these patients who are.
"Previously I have telephoned the secretaries in the orthopaedic department and they say it is an 11 to 12-month wait."
A spokesman for the Scottish Executive confirmed that an investigation had recently examined the reporting of waiting times and that there was no evidence to suggest that operations were being incorrectly categorised.
However, this latest situation has highlighted the fact that many patients are still being forced to endure lengthy and painful waits or else seek private treatment.
© Adfero Ltd
NHS news : 02/03/2007